The Internet of Things: Providers are better together.

By Anton Le Saux head of Managed Connectivity and Partner Sales at Telefónica UK.

Last week I attended the Internet of Things (IoT) World Forum in London of which O2 was a headline sponsor. It was a fantastic event and unique opportunity to rub shoulders with the brightest experts from across the M2M industry, with the likes of Machina Research, Microsoft and IBM all in attendance. Now after the dust has settled on the event I’d like to share a few of my key takeaways.

By all reports the IoT is an industry set for rapid growth. The number of connected devices is predicted to reach over 24 billion by 2020. So it’s all good news right? Wrong. A large section of the event covered the potential barriers to adoption of the IoT. These included regulations around permanent and national roaming, data and privacy management, international coverage across MNOs, legacy client IT systems, localised legislation on taxation and finally security.

Another barrier that was highlighted – one that is close to home for me as head of partner sales for M2M – was the fragmented state of the market. There are too many providers using individualised processes which are resulting in a narrow, segmented view of the IoT.  This was made apparent by the fact that some of the suppliers at the event were actually searching for partners over customers. In order for the M2M chain to reach its full potential a more standardised, market-wide approach is needed. An approach that aligns a network of partners so to create a standardised environment that delivers business critical value to customers.

According to TMCnet’s white paper The Case for M2M Device Management, “Network operators are well positioned to help the M2M industry address these challenges and move forward. With platforms that allow them to merge their trusted remote device management and on boarding expertise with standardised M2M functions, network operators can reach more devices and verticals, deliver more value to customers and secure a stronger role in the M2M market.”

This is of course music to our ears, and something we have already acted upon with Telefónica’s Global Partnership Programme. The scheme aims to accelerate growth in the M2M market in a structured way, enabling greater quality control and boosting confidence in the market.

For more information on how Telefónica UK is enabling businesses to embrace M2M visit our website.